Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal

Just for the sake of arguement the Japanese rig a frieght ship as it passes through the canal to explode.

It would be both a success and a failure in the same ways Pearl Harbor alone was. The loss of the Philippines and the Pacific fleet was devestating for, say, the first 6 months. Forcing the US to go around the Horn might add on another few.However, as a strike in central america, the entire region could be brought against Japan quicker than it was OTL, especially if some Central American bigwigs were killed in the attack or something. A more cooperative US-Central America in WW2 could lead to better relations down the road in the Cold War and if the world is rosy enough the Banana Republics could be avoided and Panama could become a US state.But immediately, the Japanese stave off defeat another few weeks/months, and get both Panama and the US pissed at them.
 

ninebucks

Banned
I'd assume that since the threat of war against Japan was more imminent than the threat of war against Germany, so the lion's share of the USN would be on the Pacific side of the USA.

So Japan would be shooting themselves in the foot a bit by removing the USA's ability to restation its fleets away from Japan, no?
 

Fenwick

Donor
I'd assume that since the threat of war against Japan was more imminent than the threat of war against Germany, so the lion's share of the USN would be on the Pacific side of the USA.

So Japan would be shooting themselves in the foot a bit by removing the USA's ability to restation its fleets away from Japan, no?

In the long run I do not think that America looses its chance to ship its fleet's to another ocean, in the short run however I could see more US ships around, but then again if this is the begining of the war and Japan has the supplies it needs, big jump there, maybe they knock out a few carriers within the early months of the war.

Of course in end Japan is doomed, but a couple of months is still a couple of months.
 
How could Japan have gotten any ships to Panama undetected? They got to Hawaii by sailing north along a rarely used shipping lane. To get to Panama, they'd have to get to the lanes near the Ecuator, which are heavily traveled. If they'd sailed south past Australia, they would have been detected by either U.S. forces in the Philippines or by Australian forces, who would have notified US Naval Command. If they sailed north, they'd have to skirt North America. The IJN did use submarine aircraft carriers, but the first one wasn't finished until late December 1944. In 1941, I just don't see how the Japanese Navy could have gotten any kind of ship close enough to Panama and still inflict effective damage.
 
How could Japan have gotten any ships to Panama undetected? They got to Hawaii by sailing north along a rarely used shipping lane. To get to Panama, they'd have to get to the lanes near the Ecuator, which are heavily traveled. If they'd sailed south past Australia, they would have been detected by either U.S. forces in the Philippines or by Australian forces, who would have notified US Naval Command. If they sailed north, they'd have to skirt North America. The IJN did use submarine aircraft carriers, but the first one wasn't finished until late December 1944. In 1941, I just don't see how the Japanese Navy could have gotten any kind of ship close enough to Panama and still inflict effective damage.
Google " Texas City Explosion" and imagine if that ship had gone up in one of the locks of the Canal, or look up "Halifax Nova Scotia Explosion". Either going off in a lock are going to close the Canal.
 
Just for the sake of arguement the Japanese rig a frieght ship as it passes through the canal to explode.

The Great Pacific War by Hector C. Bywater, Chapter II.

See also "December 6th" by C. S. Forester (available in The Man In the Yellow Raft.

So this strategem has the imprimatur of notable naval minds.
 

Fenwick

Donor
How could Japan have gotten any ships to Panama undetected? They got to Hawaii by sailing north along a rarely used shipping lane. To get to Panama, they'd have to get to the lanes near the Ecuator, which are heavily traveled. If they'd sailed south past Australia, they would have been detected by either U.S. forces in the Philippines or by Australian forces, who would have notified US Naval Command. If they sailed north, they'd have to skirt North America. The IJN did use submarine aircraft carriers, but the first one wasn't finished until late December 1944. In 1941, I just don't see how the Japanese Navy could have gotten any kind of ship close enough to Panama and still inflict effective damage.

Well I was saying like a shipping vessel explodes in the canal. Japan sent ships through the canal, as it was pretty much an international passage.
 

NapoleonXIV

Banned
Well I was saying like a shipping vessel explodes in the canal. Japan sent ships through the canal, as it was pretty much an international passage.

Don't they have some sort of inspection process before a ship goes through the canal? I would think they'd take some sort of precautions routinely as the locks are so vulnerable.
 

Fenwick

Donor
Don't they have some sort of inspection process before a ship goes through the canal? I would think they'd take some sort of precautions routinely as the locks are so vulnerable.

I'll check on that, but if you want to blow something up someone will find away.
 
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